LDP forecast to secure 36% of votes in proportional representation section

Thirty-six percent of respondents in a Yomiuri Shimbun survey said they will vote for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in the proportional representation section of the upcoming House of Councillors election, with 10% selecting Nippon Ishin no Kai and 8% picking the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan.

The LDP forecast is similar to a projection in the previous 2019 upper house election, which the LDP won.

Voting and ballot counting in the upcoming poll will take place on July 10.

The latest survey was conducted on Wednesday — when election campaigning officially began — and Thursday using a random digit dialing method. Valid responses were obtained from 1,585 voters.

In a previous survey conducted June 3-5, 45% of respondents said they would vote for the LDP in the proportional representation section.

The 9 percentage-point drop in the latest survey is possibly due to soaring prices and the government’s handling of the matter. However, major opposition parties did not appear to benefit significantly from the drop in LDP support.

The leading opposition CDPJ was selected by 8%, up from 7% in the previous survey, and Ishin was backed by 10%, up from 9%.

The LDP’s junior coalition partner Komeito was chosen by 6%, up from 4%, and the Japanese Communist Party by 3%, down from 4%.

Asked about high prices, 71% of respondents said they did not support the government’s response to the situation — only 20% said they supported it — and 83% of respondents said soaring prices had increased the burden on household finances.

If the prices of food products and other daily necessities continue to soar, it could cause a strong backlash against the ruling coalition.

Meanwhile, 53% of respondents said they thought it would be better for the ruling coalition to maintain a majority in the chamber, while 34% said they did not. In a survey conducted in May, 57% said they thought it would be better, and 31% said they did not.

The LDP has pledged to increase the defense budget to at least 2% of gross domestic product

Forty-seven percent of respondents said they supported an increase — 15% said the budget should be increased to at least 2% of GDP, and 32% said it should be between 1% and 2% — while 46% were against an increase, with 37% saying it should be maintained at the current level and 9% saying it should be reduced.

In the previous survey earlier this month, 53% were in favor of an increase and 41% were against it.

Sixty-eight percent of respondents said they were interested in the House of Councillors election.

The Cabinet of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was supported by 57% of respondents, down from 64% in the previous survey.

It was the first time since March that the approval rating has fallen.

In the latest survey, 28% of respondents did not support the Cabinet, up from 26% in the previous poll.

The LDP was supported by 37% of respondents, down from 43% in the previous survey, while Ishin and the CDPJ each came in at 6%. In the previous poll, Ishin was supported by 5% and the CDPJ by 4%.

Respondents who said they had no party affiliation accounted for 35%, down from 38% in the previous poll.